PART ONE & TWO

REFLECTIVE JOURNAL

JUNE

12/06 - Project one

Today we starded up Fundation plus course and the first project is taking photos. I took some pictures but wasn't really happy with them cause i found them somehow similar. So, i looked up artists to see how they do photographing and why they take photos like that. I also question myself like: what does the frame mean? Why is it in black and white while the other ones are coloured?... One of a photographer i particularly like is Gillian Wearing. Her self-portrait work <Masks(2002)> is she wearing masks pretend to be her family members. I have read her speak called"trauma and uncanny" and that explains why she is using these masks: to protect, to cover and to heal. Let the story tellers believe their own voices to save themselves. Meanwhile, I got some useful feedbacks from my tutor and classmates. They suggested me to think of different angels and gestures in pictures. 

13/06 - Artist research

Today is the second day of project one, self- portrait. I took more pictures with a changing on framing and lighting, but I still have not decide what theme should I be taking this picture for, yet. Gillian Wearing's work has inspired me a lot somehow, not in a visual way but more in the way she explores in between private and public. She uses silicone masks made of(not sure if i suppose to use this collocation here) her family's face and putting them on pretending to be them and feel what they feel(see <series ALBUM, 2003>). Gillian's framing is very documentary, for instance her lighting is natural and guileless (see <I'm desparate>,1992-3), which gives a feeling of being daily and recording. I like the way of being "recording", it feels like it is so close to life meanwhile it also has a strong sense of simulations and arrangements. I may refer to this lighting skill in my photos as well: I will not do any decorations, even just changing a little bit.

Besides, I am also expanding vocabularies by art terms, which matches my study goals.

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*Study on Gillian Wearing's framing*

 

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*Framing test I mentioned before but not really successful*

 

13/06 - final outcome

Details

14/06 - Crit

My final submission of work is a series of selfie with 4 patches, and basically it was a series of selfies I took with people who doesn’t know they’re taking a selfie with me. These pictures are for those who sharing happiness without consciousness. It is trying to convey a message of your happiness is not your own thing since it must be trigger by some social events that includes other people, even its your own feeling. Anything of feeling is belongs to you but it cause by social. That is kind of my exploring and interpretation of between social and private.

I did selfie because one of the important thing with self-portrait is that it’s a description and reflection of yourself, so it doesn't mean anything if the photographer is not you. I planed basic framing on sketch books then started taking photos. It was a little bit hard because I have to take selfie with someone who doesn’t notice that I’m taking a selfie with him or her. And finally I got comments like “humour”,”happy”, “contemporary” and “witty”. II could redo it I would have it planned with more lightning and colour adjustments. Because for me, photography is more like a way of recording than a self-expression, but maybe I have to push myself to explore the artistic attributes of it.

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*FInal placement testing*

 

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At the end of the day, I chose this distorted stair image.  It makes me feel like that the whole environment is a giant black hole and the happiness is drawn in.

15/16 - Project two

Our new project is about celebrating Archway. Each person has a given site in Archway and they are asked to fulfill their own task based on that. I need to do a graphic intervention for an employment bureau. My first idea is doing a way-finding system or signage for the shop, but when I actually went there I found it's shut down. Though, I was really impressed by the blue and white colour which make me feel professional. I also love the main display font on the shop label which is URW Gothic demi, it is clear and formal. If I just do the signage it will be weird as the shop no longer needs it. Maybe help the shop to rebuild itself is a good idea, and I will figure this out during the weekend.

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The picture is the business shop itself.

18/06 - research and concepts

Today is the second school day of project two. Since my site is closed, I have changed my idea from a way-finding system to a new shop logo and even the phone app interface. Nowadays, numbers of people looking for a job online than go to a traditional agency,  and lots of employment sites has moved their sites to a website as well (even my site didn't), and that is my intention of create an online application for them. I did historical (how employment sites become this way, where is the original etc.) and cultural research (there's always publicly funded employment agencies run by the government in majority of developed countries). Though they are quite interesting, I don't think they will be useful because the informations are not specific enough to do the design in this case. So back to the bureau itself, I was trying to get some inspirations from it. For example, if I am going to do an interface, what colour will it be? Who will be using this app? What kind of functions should it has? I found the existing colour match is very clear and professional, but it also need some energy as well, For people to notice and feeling excited about the new job they about to get.  The logo font which is URW Gothic Demi is quite modern and neat, so I will (maybe) keep these two sets in my new design. I will do some hand sketches first then do the model on photoshop or illustrator.

19/06 - idea development

I had my individual tutorial this afternoon. My tutors suggested me on doing something “interesting” more than just a traditional signage or poster. They recommend me to look up “location independent working” which means a portable shop like a coffee trolley or sandwich bicycle. It is an useful idea because my situation is truly awkward and I can really use on that. So, basically what am I going to do is relocate this shop, assume it is reopened online and doing advertisements for it. I gonna write down my slogan on a big board and put it to somewhere with huge stream of people. I also looked up an artist Anthony Burrill who did a series irony poster for a really bad Amsterdam hotel Hans Brinker. The hotel is noisy with bad facilities, but he turned these into selling points and using bright colours with simple designing to emphasize the fact that the hotel is now even worse. I like the way he apply his sense of humour in graphic design, and I will make an use of his humour as well. But I am not sure if I will want to do the location independent work thing because poster and logo design sound more fascinate to me at this stage.

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21/06 - Logo design

I did some researches about logo independent working and found myself didn’t really want to do that. It was truly playful but I want to do some commercial stuff to push myself (even I’m not sure it is a kind of push) to reality and knowing how people work. I made the logo first. I made a rough mind map that leads me toward several directions, then used hand-made lettering to draw down the model then put them on photoshop and change it into a digital shape.

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Since the first primary employment bureau is opened by British people, I used Baskerville as the main font of logo. It looks clever and elegant, which also has a formal feeling for business use. I also tried different shapes such as eyes (which mean seeking, kind of connected to job finding centre)but they doesn’t look good as the lettering one. Then I started to do the poster. As I mentioned I quite like the logo of shop centre, I made an illustrative typeface by myself based on typeface Arial because it look similar enough with the one on the shop label nonetheless can not be find in photoshop fontlab… Under Anthony Burrill’s influence, I made my first poster draft. I am satisfied at this moment, but I also hope for some improvements because it looks too similar from the artist’s.Untitled-3.jpg

 

This is how it look. The colour and shape was refer to the original shop design, in order to create a connection I added them on the poster. Though I'm not sure if i have to make connections in this way, because it doesn't look really good.

22/06 - Crit

In Archway my site was?

I got Aquarius employment bureau.

The asset/ inspiration/ object I was particularly interested was?

Obviously the most "charming" thing is the shop is already closed, which gives me more possibilities to explore. Also, the sign colour composition and shop's main display typography is good-looking as well. Furthermore, the shop is a business of helping people to get job, so the key words are "helping" and "finding". I was doing design based on these points.

The important experiments?

Since I have changed directions many time, (first signage system, then location independent working but finally I'm doing poster designing) my experiments are mainly about using different styles of painting, different fonts and colour-matches to give the best effect to the poster. For the other experiments such as location independent work part I went down to some tricycle selling points take pictures (under premission) to see how they advertise their own shops.

The outcome was?

The outcome was a logo designed by myself and a poster. The poster is in yesterday's Journal.

Summary caption for your image (how would you like the picture to understand your project?)

This is a poster with a self-designed logo for Aquarius employment bureau. The shape and colour match was inspired by the shop itself, and typography was designed by myself based on a font called Arial.

25/06 - Casting

Today we started the new project which is a hand crafting project. I got the chance to start off my casting workshop on Monday. The workshop is devided into 3 parts: plaster, wood and plastic (we've only used the plastic part) and concrete. First we made a plaster piece based on a texture mould we made by clay. You have to keep an eye on the plaster because it drys very soon, like 20 minutes for a 2-fists size. Plaster become hot when drying out. I knew it but I don't know when exactly will it happen, so it is a fresh experience for me. After that we went to wood workshop for the vacuum forming machine. It was magical because it basically could blow out any shape that you put in. I didn't know the rules until I putted a clean sheet in. Then we're asked to put concrete into the form. Kat who's our instructor told us that sands strength the structure of concrete which I didn't know before. As a graphic student, I wasn't have much knowledges about these materials but now I just love to work with them. I had my newspaper pieces and kind of know what I want to do but I need to really think of it. And before that, I want to enjoy more workshops and experience all crafting ways if possible.

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*The plaster I made. It even reflects the most tiny texture of linen which amazed me.*

 

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*The vacuum former basically just heat up the plastic sheets by really high temperture and shaping it by pushing on the items underneath.*

 

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*My piece of concrete, it looks nice and peaceful especially when just came out from white mould.*

26/06 - Wood and print

Today I have been to wood and plastic workshop and print workshop. Since I have done casting yesterday I’m kind of getting progresses in craft. I came up with an idea today which is combing typography and body parts, so basically it’s turning body shapes into letters. The ongoing project requires us to take inspirations from random newspapers and handmade at least five items with a concept. The fascinated thing I found in newspaper was a close-up of woman’s body part in a lingerie advertisement. I made a template with wood of women’s breast that looks like a uppercase “B” , and the meaning of this is “B” for breasts. In print workshop, I made a stencil of hip in uppercase “H” (“H” for hip). However I think it’s not enough to connect just body parts with typography, i want it to have deeper meanings so I am looking up gestures as well, for example, the relationship between “V” hand and the word “victory”. I will do more researches on this. Also the good thing on me is that I don’t just purely hate hand working as I used to be.

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27/06 - Idea developing

Today we had language class. Mark, our language teacher suggested me adding more cultural references after I talked about my worries of the project might being superficial. Thus I started diverting from body shapes to gestures, which obviously have more to do with deeper researches.  I found a chinese artist Shen Xiao who is doing hand shadow play, and I just uploaded him onto my research file. I want to start with international gestures like ok and thumb up (good), and gradually explored more after this.

28/06 - 4D workshop

After talked with Matt yesterday, I started my research on gesture. I started with the simplest gesture "ok", and made a short video so we can see how the gesture gradually turning into 2 different letters.

ok video

*Click link to watch the video, recommend speed is 0.5*

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 These are the original photo that I made video of.

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This is another video I made based on the hand shadow play artist I looked up earlier. I made it through premium pro under David who is our IT supporter's guide. I used to hate everything have to do with camera, but today Im kind of surpassed myself: I made experiments with camera and even video editing softwares turned out they were successful. Now, I am trying to create a new typography, or a symbol comes to communicates instead of gestures. I need to think of where should I put it but not only the basic meaning of it. I feel like it is a long way to go.

29/06

DO IT DIFFERENTLY?

Actually, I will still choose to go this direction of combining body parts (including shape and gestures) and typography. However I will have it more organised. I feel like the early experiments (especially casting because we did it on Monday) are a bit messy and not strongly link to the concept. Also I would love to spend more time on print workshop and try to get more materials as I can. I would love to create my own letter pressings with diy ink, and doing more handworks.

 

PERSONAL FAVOURITE?

I think it's the videos that are the most successful ones. Maybe it's because thats my last experiments so it has a clearer purpose than the other experiments.

 

PEERS WORK?

Everyone in my group was having a great amount of workload. I quite like the idea of Mirei combines her recent project with the first one, so the whole idea is connected and you can really see the progress and developments.

 

 

JULY

02/07 - Progression tutorial

After talked to Ignacia today, i understood that thesel points need to be improved:

- That i need to organize sketchbook more carefully, for instance, adding clearer annotations and titles

- That i should look for more specific direction (branding), including artists, art shows and works

- That i should broaden horizons by looking up more artist's work and experiment with more materials and means

All of these suggestions are very useful and I have already start doing them. I will start with the relevant artists, making my own letterpresses and making my sketchbook more logical.

03/07 - Circle drawing

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Today we were asked to draw 30 circus doodles and this is what I have done. 

05/07 - Project four

Today is the first day of drawing project. It was quite fun for me because I love drawing so much, and it's a good chance to know more graphic designers and illustrators. We did several drawing practices, including drawing in weird positions and with varies tools. 

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Me drawing in different positions

 

I think the point of these weird positions is about to experience. These acts could be pointless or even nonsense, but if you think back you may see and feel different meanings. So when creating an art work the experience itself will become a part of it. For me, it is really nice to see and experience things that I have never done.

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Here are some drawings I made today. For artists I have looked up illustrator Paul Cox (Graphic), ceramic artist Lisa Larson who owns a lovely brand (Branding), and I believe they will somehow help pushing my project.

06/07 - Crit

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Photo credit to: CLICK HERE

After research of Lisa Larson, a swedish ceramic artist, I found her style is really interesting and I would love to try. She has many works that relate to animals and natural, so I was thinking of drawing something in that style. However, i found this style can be used in the idea of my first project self-portrait as i've always want to draw a self-portrait. I started experimenting by drawing random things but in that style.

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My paintings based on hers.

 

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I wanted to do a small pamphlet for self-portraits, so I used binding skill to swen these loose pages together.

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Then I drawed myself based on the pictures that I took in the first project in Lisa's style. The feedbacks I got from tutor and peers were:

- That they look interesting

- Shouldn't tell people what they really are until they have made their guesses

 

07/07 - "Hope to Nope" at the design museum

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I cried a lot during the exihibition. Especially when i was watching the video of how people resist strong powers by protest and parades. I saw south africa people singing at a parade aiming to zuma's corruption and i cried because the people look so happy and pure but what they trying to fight against is complete not happy and pure at all.  Far from that, it represents power and really dark things. However, people chose to use love and songs to spread out their idea and view. And when i turned my face i saw a lady who standed beside me was gentally wiping off tears from her face as well. At this moment i felt strong empathy is linking me and her, and i wonder how people create both love and darkness at the same time. I felt more impactful in mind rather than visual, i lost my words. I couldnt stop crying when i saw the book <The complete Lexicon> which records different suicide stories during financial crisis. Anyways, i love this exhibition, but i dont like some things that it talks about.

09/07 - Project six

Today we had briefing about our 6th project. We were grouped into pairs, getting down each items that partner brought, then do the acting for each one and let the partner make a guess.

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*Partner's items*

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*Process of acting*

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*We grouped items by their colour then took pictures.*

I think this project is a good chance to get familar with an inexperienced decipline, learning how to communicate and work with people who might come from a completely different world from you. Then in the afternoon we were asked to come up with at least 10 different ideas, and here are the ideas we came up with so far:

- "Ship of Thesues" and expansions (Paradoxes, how to define an object or etc.)

- Rainbow flag and expansions (Gender issues, "Pride" parade etc.)

- Digestive biscuit wig (Painting, basically dress up people wiith our items)

- Appearance placement

- A monochome zine with gradient effect

- A small circular shape zine of circular or sphere objects

- A documentary of the relationship between people and their belongs (or the objects in their daily life)

- 100 ways of eating a diestive biscuit

- Doing funny, ridiculous stuffs in a serious, decent looking

- Performance art

11/07 - "Chinese Dream"

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"Chinese Dream"

 

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Artist Infomations

"Chinese Dream" is a traditional monochrome pencil sketch by a MA CSM graphic communication student in his 2nd year. It's consist of two parts, a realistic picture of a chinese family and a huge maze that made of a deconstructed "Family planning" in chinese typography. In the typography maze, two small person is hiding and trying to escape from two giant shadows (which symbols government or a strong power for me) that chasing behind. The second image is a penury couple just had their second child but they can not have her. This is a tough scene for me because it reminds me the truth of chinese people are still struggling for human rights and how unfair the social is. For those poor familys, children means dream and hope, mainwhile after this policy every second child will cost around 20,000 pounds which they can't afford. This remind me about birth freedom and even how helpless people are when they're living under strong powers. I think our final outcome will go this way as well.

12/07 - Designing

The paints we got yesterday remind me about birth freedom and women's rights. Thus, I started with looking at chastity belt which is a quiet typical example for women's freedom restriction. With the concept of that I started sketching of how the project will be look at. In the first picture, I also draw a pair of wings to represent "dream". However it was too obvious and I didn't use it. Then my partner Maggie came up with an idea of using coloured ocean balls to symbol unborn children, and they are stuck in a huge cage (which means womb). I also came up with the idea of using a big hand to represent power (Chinese government).

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Sketches that based on birth control and conflicts between individuals and the power

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Sketches from my partners Maggie and Elysia

 

And then we have looked up artist Antony Gormley, Bobby Doherty and Youth Bi especially Antony. His sculptures with a wires and frames have me really enchanted. I like the way he shaped the wires into a random way which looks pretty aggressive and tensionally. We will blend his style into our work as well.

13/07

When they actually went down to workshop, we found that the idea of big bucket doesn't work. So we turned back to the idea of chastity belt and used copper wires to make the frame and iron wires to strengthen the structure. 

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Prototype of the frame

 

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Making Process

 

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16/07 - Final outcome

We sprayed the object to white at the end. We decided to call it unborn children was because white colour and the word "birth" together reminds me a song of PJ Harvey that called <White chalk>. Harvey is a british rock singer who is also a feminist, and one of the lyrics in this song is "Where I walked our unborn child in me". 

The whole thing is a wearable installation. It is a external womb based on the shape of chastity belt with two cotton strings hang on shoulder. The plaster balls symbolize the unborn children that killed by the government, and they're painted into gradations was because they could be different people. The piece of work was starting from "Chinese Dream", but its not an ethnic thing at all. It is more like a confilct of the soft (womb, women, children, people) and the strong (government, grim policy, the power). And through the shape of chastity belt we also want to talk about the restrictions on women as well. This shape of work is a promotion for a fashion brand, and we planned to set it in either show stages or galleries.

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Plaster balls made for unborn children.

 

This project gave me a new understanding not on my partners' disciplines but also on my own discipline. It has shown me how different we are in the ways of thinking. For example, Elysia my fine art partner, always thinking of big issues like human wellbeing, politic and so on, and she has wider knowledges on physical materials, like she knows how to twist wires in a quicker way. Maggie my creative direction partner has a really modern sketchbook layout that I didn't even know it could be arranged in this way. And there are also some funny things as well, I saw how naturally I was trying to divert it into a graphic way through experimenting with patterns and stuff. Working with different talented people was a memorable experience. I learned a lot from partners' "database" including artist and techniques that might be useful for my future projects. 

18/07 - Peer's feedback on pecha kucha presentation

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I did my pecha kucha speaking today. Honestly I thought I should I could done iit better. In the middle of it I am kind of losing the idea because of the slides order. I should prepare the verbal part more at home. However, I did spend sometime on graphic display part and I was satisfied with it. Feedbacks that I got from teacher were: "Confident and excellent presentation skill, well considered graphic layouts, however lost confidence in the midway." And the peer feedbacks were:"Comfortable layout and it was an nteresting presentation." I got 1 good and 2 excellent on grades, and the only good was for the discipline. I should have talked a bit more about the understanding of branding and the relationship of graphic and branding. If I could have done it a second time, I would have practiced at home. Overall, I will rank myself a "good".